A 63-year-old Brookline, Mass., man was reported missing to U.S. Forest Service personnel at 11:00 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 20, when he failed to return from a summit hike. Avalanche danger on Saturday was listed as moderate with the possibility of an increase in danger to considerable overnight.
Mount Washington Valley Ski Patrol found him on Sunday at approximately 2:45 a.m. on a steep, icy slope above an area known as Lunch Rocks in Tuckerman Ravine.
The subject of the search had taken a long, sliding fall down Right Gully after taking a wrong turn off Lion Head Trail. The microspikes he wore on his mountaineering boots didn’t provide adequate traction during his descent, and he suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the fall.
Temperatures on the summit were -6 degrees with northwest winds blowing at 35-50 mph at the time he was found.
The climber had hiking and snow climbing experience but didn’t have crampons, an ice ax, a headlamp or a flashlight. He did have adequate clothing to survive his long wait for rescue.